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FBI Catalogue Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “News Oct. 23”
Date cues on tape: Contents of tape consistent with label, although likely from October 22 (Jones specifies Sunday)
Jimmy Carter, U.S. president
Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Colin Barlow, member of Rhodesian Front Party
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania
Olusegun Obasanjo, head of military government of Nigeria [by reference]
Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiry, president of Sudan [by reference]
Mohammed Siad Barre, President of Somalia
Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana
Basdeo Panday, leader of Trinidad Islandwide Cane Farmers Association
Joseph “Reds” Perreira, Guyana sports broadcaster
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader
Ralph Abernathy, former president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Joseph Lowery, president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Viola Liuzzo, slain civil rights activist
Gary Rowe, FBI informant involved in slaying of Viola Liuzzo
Collie Wilkins, convicted in the slaying of Viola Liuzzo
Eugene Thomas, convicted in the slaying of Viola Liuzzo
William Orville Eaton, convicted in the slaying of Viola Liuzzo
William (Bill) Baxley, attorney general of Alabama (by reference)
Kendrick Easley, University of Virginia student, plaintiff in a civil suit
Edward Wilcox, University of Virginia student, sued by Kendrick Easley
Bruce Graham, victim of Philadelphia police beating
James “Reb” Edwards
Bible verses cited: None
(Note: This tape was transcribed, and the summary written, by Katherine Hill. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Speaking slowly and with seeming great effort, Jim Jones reads the news for Sunday, October 22, 1978. He sounds either tired or sedated, and there are numerous occasions where he mispronounces common words as well as proper names. He also complains of not being able to read his own notes.
Apart from news stories, there’s little else in terms of community announcements. There is Jones’ usual urging for Temple members to work harder, including volunteering to help make toys to fulfill a $33,000 order. This request follows a statement about how Peoples Temple has been persecuted by the press and the government in the U.S. but that Jonestown residents should be grateful for being where they are and for having “beautiful air and sunshine” and chemical-free foods. Joseph “Reds” Perreira, who is “in charge of all sports activities for Guyana,” is expected as a Jonestown guest the next day, and the basketball team is expected to be at their best. Jones also mentions that the schedule for the day will include news and Russian sessions as well as musical entertainment in the evening. This is reinforced at the end of the tape when Jones says that, in order to receive their meals that night, people will have to answer questions, presumably in Russian.
There are several news stories into which Jones interjects himself. An aside in one story on Caribbean/US relations about a Cuban airliners blown up in flight by the CIA allows him to remind his listeners, he was intended to be on that plane. A story about violence in Alabama during the Civil Rights movement recalls his own time down there during that period, when the state police put out an alert for him and he barely escaped. There is no corroboration for either of these accounts.
But the reminiscence which waxes most nostalgically for him is a reference to the Caribbean island of Grenada, which he describes as beautiful and clean, with long expanses of uncrowded beach. In fact, Jim Jones and other Temple leaders had visited the island nation in the early 1970s and entered into negotiations over a parcel of land where they might be able to immigrate (even as they were negotiating with Guyana). Like Guyana, Grenada is English-speaking, had a socialist government, and has an even larger percentage of the population that is black. The parcel of land had another suitor, though – an American medical college – which Prime Minister Eric Gairy ultimately selected. Rebuffed, Temple leaders then turned all their efforts to a parcel of land in Guyana’s northwest district.
At its heart, though, this is a news tape. The story to which he devotes the most time is the indictment of an FBI agent in conjunction with the murder of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo thirteen years before. Other stories include:
• Egypt condemns raids into Zaire and Mozambique by Rhodesia;
• A new multi-racial party forms in Rhodesia;
• Tanzania criticizes Zambia’s decision to opens its borders with Rhodesia;
• Nigerian and Sudanese leaders meet to discuss Ethiopia;
• Cuba has large military and medical assistance programs in Africa;
• Zimbabwean liberation forces dispute Rhodesia’s claims of military success;
• Somalia pardons thousands of prisoners;
• Two communist organizations merge;
• The SCLC announces an investigation of racism in the military;
• Philadelphia police beat a man arrested for drunkenness;
• A Virginia student sues another over a racially-motivated prank.
Jones ends the recording with his usual expression of love for his people.
Date of transcription: 6/18/79
In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.
On June 4, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-112. This tape was found to contain the following:
Reverend JIM JONES giving the news and world events, interrupted with instructions to various people at Jonestown.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted June 2012